How to set up an online store for your WordPress site
E-commerce has been on the rise for years, but more than ever. If you are one of the many companies looking to take your business to the next level online, you are probably wondering where to start or the most efficient way to get there.
The good news is that with the right tools, integrating e-commerce into your solutions isn’t a complicated task. As a WordPress user, you have the advantage of using plugins that make setting up an online store a simple and seamless process.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to start an e-commerce site, including some of the best plugins to use. Next, we’ll walk you through how to set up an online store for your WordPress site in five easy steps. Let’s get started!
What you need to set up an online store
There has never been a better time to start selling online than now. However, before you actually build your online store, there are a few things you’ll need to get started.
First of all, you need a domain name and a WordPress hosting plan. If you are looking to build an online store for your existing WordPress site, you don’t have to worry about this part. If you want to create a new website, we recommend using self-managed WordPress hosting.
In addition, whether for a new or existing site, we recommend that you install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This will help minimize and prevent malicious activity on your online store, such as fraud.
Once you’ve purchased your domain and hosting plan, the next thing to do is decide on an e-commerce platform to use. While there are many options, there are a few that are particularly well suited for WordPress. Let’s take a look at what these are and what each has to offer.
WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce solution for WordPress sites. It’s feature-rich, user-friendly, and comes with an Integration Wizard that makes setting up and managing a storefront quick and easy.
Another plus is that WooCommerce offers a plethora of extensions you can use to extend functionality and improve the look of your online store. You can also choose from a variety of themes to streamline your storefront design process.
Easy digital downloads
If you are planning to sell digital products on your WordPress site, Easy Digital Downloads is definitely worth considering. This e-commerce solution is specially designed for the sale of non-physical products, such as e-books, videos, images, etc.
In addition to multiple payment gateways and a shopping cart system for purchasing multiple downloads, EDD includes functionality for software licensing, email service integrations, product bundling, and more. As with WooCommerce, it also comes with a lot of extensions and themes you can use to enhance your online store.
While not a complete eCommerce solution, Grange2 does make WordPress plugins specifically created to extend the WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads plugins. No matter what e-commerce platform you use, Barn2 offers a variety of plugins that help improve the functionality and functionality of your online store.
Some examples of notable and handcrafted plugins are WooCommerce Product Table to quickly create data-rich product tables for WooCommerce products and WooCommerce Protected Tables to hide parts of your store. T
How to set up an online store for your WordPress site (in 5 steps)
Once your WordPress site is up and running and you’ve decided which e-commerce solution to use, it’s time to get down to business. Let’s see how to create an online store for your WordPress site in five easy steps.
Step 1: Install and Activate Your Ecommerce Plugin
As we have seen, we recommend that you use either WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads for your e-commerce solution. For this tutorial, we’ll be using WooCommerce. However, overall, the steps involved are similar regardless of which plugin you are using.
To install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress site, go to Plugins> Add New, then enter ‘WooCommerce’ in the search box:
This should be the first plugin to appear. Click on the Install Now button, followed by Activate.
Step 2: Run the setup wizard to configure your store settings and payment method
After activating the WooCommerce plugin, it will add a few menu items to your dashboard. If you click on WooCommerce, you can start running the setup wizard, starting with your store location:
The Setup Assistant walks you through multiple modules and covers everything from the pages included in your online store to shipping and tax setups. You can always revert to these settings later.
For now, the most important tasks are defining the store location settings and selecting a payment method:
The two main and recommended options are PayPal and Stripe.
Note: To integrate your online store with either payment gateway, you must have an existing account with them.
Click Continue until you are finished with the setup wizard. When you’re done, you can go back to your WordPress dashboard.
Step 3: Add products to your online store
With the basic settings out of the way, now is the time to start downloading your e-commerce products. This is one of the most important steps in learning how to set up an online store for your WordPress site, as you will be revisiting and repeating it frequently.
To add a new product, go to Products> Add new :
On this page, you can add a name for your product, as well as a description of it. You will notice that the new product page for WooCommerce looks and functions like a regular WordPress post or page. For example, you can select categories, tags, and images for the product in the right panel.
When you scroll down, under the “Product Data” box, there are several tabs where you can provide shipping information, product inventory, prices, and more:
When you’re done, click the Publish button in the top right corner. Repeat this process for each product you want to add to your online store.
Step 4: Choose and customize the theme of your online store
While you don’t have to wait until you’ve downloaded products to choose and install a theme for your online store, we recommend that you do. Having products already added makes it easier to understand how your theme looks and works for your online store.
WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme, which you can choose from WordPress Theme Directory. However, we recommend that you use an e-commerce specific theme as they are specially designed to work for online storefronts.
Hence, you can consider choosing one of the WooCommerce Themes. A popular choice is the WooCommerce Storefront Theme, available in both free and premium versions:
After you install and activate your theme on your WordPress site, you can further customize it as you like. You can do this by going to Appearance> Customize from your dashboard.
Step 5: Choose extensions to enhance your online store
At this point, you have set up a fully functional online store for your WordPress site. However, you may be missing some key features and functionality that you are looking for, which you can add through plugins.
Once you have purchased or downloaded a plugin, you can upload it to your WordPress site by going to Plugins> Add New from your dashboard (the same way you added the WooCommerce plugin in step 1 ).
WooCommerce offers an Extensions Library where you can find free and premium enhancements for your online store:
You can also find WooCommerce related plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Also, as you may remember, Barn2 creates WooCommerce specific plugins that can help extend the functionality of your site.
With so many consumers buying products and services online rather than in person, there has never been a better time to scale your business online. While it might seem overwhelming, setting up an e-commerce platform on WordPress is actually relatively quick and easy.
In this article, we have covered how to set up an online store for your WordPress site in five easy steps:
- Install and activate your e-commerce plugins, such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads.
- Run the setup wizard to configure your store settings and payment method.
- Add products to your store.
- Select and customize the theme of your online store.
- Choose extensions to enhance the functionality of your online store.
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